The Chanukah prayers
Beginning from Mincha of the 24th of Kislev, until after the last day of Chanukah, Tachanun is omitted from the prayers.
May a mourner be Chazan?
A mourner may lead the services on Chanukah, except for the reading of Hallel. He is however to say the Kaddish after Hallel. On Rosh Chodesh, however, and likewise on any day on which Musaf is said, he does not lead the services, even at Minchah or Maariv.
A. When is it recited?
Al Hanissim is recited all eight days of Chanukah. It is recited within Birchas Hamazon during the Birchas Haaretz and within Shemoneh Esrei by Birchas Modim. [The custom is to recite Veal Hanissim, with an additional Vav, by both Birchas Hamazon and Shemoneh Esrei.] If one did not recite it he has nevertheless fulfilled his obligation and is not required to repeat the prayer.
B. What is one to do if he forgot to recite Al Hanissim in Shemoneh Esrei?
If one did not recite Al Hanissim he has nevertheless fulfilled his obligation. If he remembered before reciting Hashem’s name in the blessing of “Hatov Shimcha” then he is to return and recite Al Hannisim. This applies even if he already said Baruch Ata but did not yet say Hashem’s name. If however one has already recited Hashem’s name then he may not go back. In such a case there are opinions which say that if one has not yet concluded his prayer he is to recite Al Hanissim prior to the last Yehyu Leratzon said prior to taking three steps back.
C. What is one to do if he forgot to recite Al Hanissim in Bentching?
If one did not recite Al Hanissim in Birchas Hamazon he has nevertheless fulfilled his obligation.
Remembered before finishing blessing: If one remembered to recite Al Hanissim prior to reciting Hashem’s name in the blessing of “Al Haaretz Veal Hamazon”, he is to return to recite Al Hannisim.
Remembered after the blessing-add in Harachaman: If however one has already recited Hashem’s name [he is to continue as usual, however] there are opinions which rule that in such a case, if one has not yet concluded Birchas Hamazon, then he is to recite “Harachaman [Hu] Yaaseh Lanu Nissim [Kemo Sheasa] Laavoseinu Bayamim Haheim Bezman…Bimeiy Matisyahu”, in the orders of Harachmans which are recited. Practically one is to follow this opinion. [It is to be recited prior to the Harachaman of “Hu Yizakeinu”.]
D. Started a meal on Erev Chanukah and is reciting Birchas Hamazon on Chanukah:
If one began eating a meal during the day of Erev Chanukah and ended the meal at night, after Chanukah has begun, then if he ate a Kezayis of bread after nightfall he is to recite Al Hanissim in Birchas Hamazon.
Chanukah that falls on Motzei Shabbos: If one began eating a meal on Shabbos Erev Chanukah, such as Shalosh Seudos, and the meal ended after nightfall, when Chanukah has already begun, then he is to only say Ritzei and not Al Hanisim in Birchas Hamazon. This applies even if he ate a Kezayis of bread past nightfall. [Nevertheless, in such a case, it is to recite Al Hanisim within the Harachamans.] If however one Davened Maariv prior to Birchas Hamazon then Ritzei is not to be said, and hence if one ate a Kezayis after nightfall he is to recite only Al Hanissim. If one said Havdala or even said Baruch Hamavdil prior to Birchas Hamazon it receives the same law as one who Davened Maariv and hence Ritzei may not be recited.
E. If one continued his Chanukah meal of the 8th day into Motzei Chanukah, is Al Hanissim recited?
If the meal extended into the night one is to nevertheless recite Al Hanisim in Birchas Hamazon. If one Davened Maariv prior to Birchas Hamazon he may no longer say Al Hanissim in Birchas Hamazon. [Thus one is to avoid Davening Maariv prior to Bentching in order so he be able to Al Hanissim.]
Q&A on Shemoneh Esrei
Is the Chazan to announce Al Hanissim prior to beginning Shemoneh Esrei?
Maariv: Some Poskim rule Al Hanissim may be announced prior to Shemoneh Esrei, after Kaddish. Others rule it may not be announced. Practically the custom is not to announce it, and rather upon the Chazan reaching Yaaleh Veyavo he recites those words aloud.
Shacharis: Al Hanissim may not be announced prior to Shemoneh Esrei of Shacharis.
Mincha: There is no prohibition involved in announcing Al Hanissim prior to Mincha.
What is the law if one recited Al Hanissim by Birchas Avoda of Shemoneh Esrei, instead of Birchas Hodaah?
He fulfills his obligation and is continue with the prayer.
Is one to skip Al Hanissim in order to say Kedusha with the congregation?
No. One is to say Al Hanissim even if doing so will come at the expense of him saying Kedusha with the congregation.
What is the law if one accidently said Al Hanissim in Shemoneh Esrei after Chanukah?
If one accidently recited it after Chanukah he is not required to repeat the prayer.
Q&A on Birchas Hamazon
Is Al Hanissim mentioned in the after blessing of Meiyn Shalosh?
No. One does not mention Al Hanissim in the after blessing of Meiyn Shalosh.
What is the law if upon reciting Al Hanissim of Birchas Hamazon one continued with the saying the continuation of Shemoneh Esrei?
One is to return to the words Al Hakol and continue from there.
Is one to say Migdol rather than Magdil in Birchas Hamazon on Chanukah?
What is the law if one accidently said Al Hanissim in Birchas Hamazon after Chanukah?
If one accidently recited Al Hanissim in Birchas Hamazon after Chanukah then if he did not yet complete the blessing he is to return to the beginning of the blessing. If however he already finished the blessing he is continue as usual.
What is the law if one forgot to say Ritzei on Shabbos Chanukah, is he to repeat Al Hanissim in Birchas Hamazon?
No. If one already recited Al Hanissim and is repeating Birchas Hamazon due to forgetting Ritzei, then he is not required to repeat Al Hanissim in the repeated Birchas Hamazon.
Each day of Chanukah one recites the complete Hallel.
 Shulchan Aruch 682-683
 Rama 683/1
 Sefer Haminhagim p. 161
 Hiskashrus 908 p. 15
 682/1; Admur 187/8
 The reason: The reason it is recited within Birchas Modim is because the entire festival of Chanukah is for praise. [Taz 682/1; M”B 682/2]
 M”B 682/1
 Rama ibid
 Michaber ibid
The Reason: As the holiday of Chanukah is not Biblical [M”B 682/3] and does not contain a Musaf sacrifice. [P”M 682 M”Z 2; Admur 188/17]
May one repeat the prayer as a Tefilas Reshus if he chooses? Some Poskim rule one may not repeat Shemoneh Esrei even as a Nedava in order to recite Al Hanissim. [Rosh; Kneses Hagedola; brought in Kaf Hachaim 682/5] Others however rule one may repeat the prayer as a Nedava if he knows that he is able to concentrate properly. [Shaareiy Teshuvah ibid]
 Some say that if he remembered prior to reciting Hakeil Yeshuaseinu then he is to say Al Hanissim and return to Vial Kulam. If however he already said Hakeil Yeshuaseinu then he is to say it in the area that he remembers and then continue from where he left off. [Hiskashrus 1025; See Admur 582/6 regarding Zachreinu; however according to the M”B and other Poskim there who argue, in this case as well one would always return to the words of Veal Kulam.]
 Michaber ibid
 This applies even if he already finished the blessing and did not yet begin the next blessing. [Kaf Hachaim 682/9]
What is the law if one went back to recite Al Hanissim? He is to stop reciting it and continue from where he left off in Shemoneh Esrei. [Michtam Ledavid 22; Birkeiy Yosef 682/2; Shaareiy Teshuvah 682; Mamar Mordechai 682/2; Kaf Hachaim 682/6]
 Elya Raba 682/2; Mamar Mordechai 682/3; M”B 682/4; Kaf Hachaim 682/12
 682/1; Admur 187/8; Ketzos Hashulchan 47/7
 Michaber ibid as explained in M”B 682/3; Peri Chadash; Kneses Hagedola; Kaf Hachaim 682/7
Other Opinions: The Bach 682 rules he is required to repeat Birchas Hamazon.
 Michaber ibid; Admur 187/8
 From where is one to continue after Al Hanissim? Some say that he is not to return to the beginning of the paragraph of Vial Hakol, but is rather to continue with the sentence that he left off. If he remembers in middle of a verse he is to first finish the verse and then say Al Hanissim and continue from there. If he remembers in the last verse, then he is to repeat the verse of Viachalta Vesavata. [Hiskashrus 1025; See Admur 582/6 regarding Zachreinu; however according to the M”B 582/16 and other Poskim there, who argue that one may repeat from the original area that Zachreinu is recited, in this case as well one would always return to the words of Veal Hakol.]
 Rama ibid; Admur 187/8; Siddur Admur
 This applies even if he concluded the blessing and did not yet begin the next blessing. [See Kaf Hachaim 682/9; M”B 114/32; See Ashel Avraham Butchach 695 and Shaareiy Tziyon 682/1]
May one say Lamdeini Chukecha and then return and say Al Hanissim? No. [Shaar Hatziyon 188/18]
 Kol Bo
 Admur ibid; Siddur Admur
 The word “Veniflaos”: In the Shulchan Aruch [Rama ibid; Admur ibid] the word “Nissim Veniflaos” is added. This word Veniflaos is omitted by Admur in the Siddur. [See Koveitz Haaros Ubiurim 1033 p. 50]
 Admur ibid in Shulchan Aruch and Siddur; The Rama ibid writes “Kisheim Sheasisa”
 Rama ibid; Admur 187/8; Siddur Admur; Levush brought in M”B 682/5 that this applies likewise on Purim.
 Admur ibid; Siddur Admur
 Siddur Yaavetz; Aruch Hashulchan 682/3; Ketzos Hashulchan 47 footnote 18 that so is custom of world.
Other Opinions: In Luach Eretz Yisrael he writes that one is to say the Harachaman immediately after “Al Yechasreinu”
 188/17; Ketzos Hashulchan 47/9
Admur ibid records a dispute in this matter. Some opinions rule, as stated above, that one only recites Al Hanissim if he ate a Kezayis of bread after nightfall. Others rule that even if he did not eat a Kezayis after nightfall he is to recite Al Hanissim. Practically the custom is like the 1st opinion.
 188/17; Ketzos Hashulchan 47/11 footnote 23; M”B 188/33; Piskeiy Teshuvos 682/1
Admur ibid records a dispute regarding whether one may say both the previous days and current day’s extra prayer within Bentching if he began a meal during the day and it continued into the night, with him eating a Kezayis of bread at night. He concludes that one may do so if the order in the Bentching is that he first recites the previous day’s event and then recites the current night’s event. [Such as one who had a meal on Shabbos afternoon and Motzei Shabbos is Rosh Chodesh and Ritzei precedes Yaaleh Veyavo.] If however the night’s event precedes the previous day’s event then one may not say both prayers even according to the lenient opinion, as this is contradictory. One is thus to only say the current nights event or the more obligatory event, and Ritzei is more obligatory than Al Hanissim. [M”A 188; Admur ibid; Ketzos Hashulchan ibid that this applies according to all; M”B ibid]
Ruling of the Chabad Rabbeim: Practically regarding Ritzei and Yaaleh Veyavo the Rebbe ruled, and so is the Chabad custom, to say both the prayer of the night and of the previous day even if the night prayer is said first [i.e. Yom Tov which continues into Shabbos]. This is unlike either opinion brought in Admur ibid, and is unlike the final ruling of Ketzos Hashulchan ibid. [Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag p. 211; Sichas Simchas Torah 1957; Sefer Hasichos 5704 p. 40] Nevertheless regarding Al Hanissim, there is no precedent to say the Rabbeim would hold that one is to say both prayers even though they form a contradiction, as Al Hanissim is not an obligation to mention as is Yaaleh Veyavo and Ritzei. [See Admur ibid; Ketzos Hashulchan 47 footnote 22; M”B ibid]
 Ketzos Hashulchan 47 footnote 23; Ashel Avraham Butchach Tinyana 695 [Alternatively the Ashel Avraham ibid suggests to think the Al Hanissim in his mind]
 Admur ibid; Ketzos Hashulchan 47/8
The reason: As it is a contradiction to have prayed the prayer of the next day and then mention the previous day.
 Admur ibid leaves this matter in question and concludes that Shev Veal Taaseh Adif; that it is better not to say it. Vetzaruch Iyun as to the intent of the parentheses there; Ketzos Hashulchan 47/8
 Admur ibid
 Admur 188/17; Ketzos Hashulchan 47/8
The Michaber 695/3 records a dispute regarding if Al Hanissim is said in Birchas Hamazon when one is reciting it after Purim [and Chanukah] is already over. The Rama ibid rules the custom is like the first opinion to say Al Hanissim. Admur ibid records this dispute and concludes like the Rama that the custom is like the opinion that states one is to say Al Hanissim.
Other Opinions: Kaf Hachaim 695/33 rules one does not mention Al Hanissim at night.
 So rules Admur ibid; Ketzos Hashulchan ibid
Other Opinions: The M”B 695/16 records a dispute on this matter and rules one is to initially avoid Davening Maariv before Birchas Hamazon in order to avoid the dispute.
 M”B ibid, now although he writes this in order to avoid the dispute. Seemingly even according to Admur it is proper to say the Kedusha of Al Hanissim within Birchas Hamazon and avoid Davening Maariv.
 Abudarham; M”A 236/1 [that so is the custom]; M”B 236/7
The Michaber 236/2 [based on Rashba 293] rules one may announce Yaaleh Veyavo between Kaddish and Shemoneh Esrei and it is not considered an interval being it is done for a need of the prayer. So rules also Bach and Levush. The M”A ibid questions whether this would likewise apply to Al Hanissim which is not an obligation to be said in the prayer and hence if it was skipped the prayer is not required to be repeated. He concludes that the custom is to say it and so rules M”B ibid.
 Mamar Mordechai 236/2; Rashal brought in Kaf Hachaim 236/16
The Rashal argues on the entire ruling of the Michaber based on Rashba and says it is never allowed to announce anything before Shemoneh Esrei. The Mamar Mordechai ibid rules that although one may announce Yaaleh Veyavo and Vesen Tal Umatar one may not announce Al Hanissim.
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 682/2; Likkutei Mahrich; Kaf Hachaim 236/16 that so is custom of Jerusalem; Siddur Admur and Sefer Haminhagim p. 69 [English] regarding Yaleh Veyavo and certainly this would apply to Al Hanissim
 Kaf Hachaim ibid; See also Rashal ibid
 Taz 114; P”M 236; Shaar Hatziyon 236/4
 Yosef Ometz 682/8; Ikarei Hadaat 35/35; Shaareiy Tziyon 682/2; Kaf Hachaim 682/8
 Tzemach Tzedek Choshen Mishpat 11; Piskeiy Teshuvos 682/2
 Derech Hachaim 33/29, 46, 52, 72 and Ketzos Hashulchan 21/4 that this applies anytime of the year, that if one accidently said Al Hanissim he is not required to repeat Shemoneh Esrei, being that he did not say an absolute lie but simply added to his prayer. So is also implied from Admur 108/18 which does not mention Al Hanissim in the dispute mentioned regarding one who accidently said Yaleh Veyavo in Shemoneh Esrei. [Ketzos Hashulchan ibid footnote 8]
Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule if one recited Al Hanissim after Chanukah he is required to repeat Shemoneh Esrei. [Bach; Peri Chadash brought in Poskim ibid]
 Michaber 208/12; Maharam Merothenberg 70; Elya Raba 682/2; P”M 682 A”A 1; M”B 682/2; Machatzis Hashekel 208/18; Taamei Haminhagim 858; Kaf Hachaim 682/3
Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule one is to mention Al Hanissim during the after blessing of Meiyn Shalosh. [Yad Neeman 5a; Yifei Laleiv 2/1; 5/1]
 The reason: As it is merely of Rabbinical origin. [Lechem Chamudos brought in Machatzis Hashekel ibid] Alternatively, it is because Al Hanissim is to be said in middle of the blessing of Modim, and the blessing of Meiyn Shalosh does not contain the blessing of Modim. [Machatzis Hashekel ibid; Levush] See also Nimukeiy Orach Chaim 682
Bedieved: If one mentioned Al Hanissim within Mieiyn Shalosh he nevertheless is not required to repeat the after blessing. [Kaf Hachaim 682/3]
 Ketzos Hashulchan 47/12 footnote 24
 Admur in Siddur does not include Chanukah
 Mishneh Sachir 2/220
 Ketzos Hashulchan 47/13 based on M”A 271/14 that this applies any day of the year and not just on the 15th.
 188/14; Ketzos Hashulchan 47/11
 The reason: As the saying of Al Hanissim in Birchas Hamazon is a mere custom. [ibid]
 Michaber 683/1
 The reason: As on each day of Chanukah a new miracle occurred. [M”B 683/1]
 Siddur Admur; M”B 683/1 in name of Levush
 The reason: As full Kaddish will be recited after Uva Letziyon. This is opposed to when Hallel is recited on Rosh Chodesh or Chol Hamoed, Shabbos, or Yom Tov in which there is no full Kaddish which follows Uva Letziyon and thus the full Kaddish is recited immediately after Halel. [See Shaar Hakolel 11/22]